How to Adult: Stress and study tips for finals week

Photo courtesy of Columbia Daily Spectator.  


As finals week stares Butler students down and threatens the GPA you worked so hard to achieve, The Collegian refuses to let that happen. Here are a few tips for conquering finals week to make sure everyone is able to enjoy the holiday season afterwards.

Best study spaces

It is no surprise that final exams require more studying than other tests throughout the semester, so it is important to have a place to properly do so. The Learning Resource Center has a list of “Spaces and Places to Study and Chill” put together by 21st Century Scholar advisor, Frank Bonner. This list is available for students in the LRC.

Some spots include Irwin Library, which has extended hours during finals week, the Ruth Lilly Science Library in the Holcomb Building, the third floor of either Jordan Hall or Gallahue, the first and second floors of Fairbanks, and the Pharmacy Building basement.

Traffic-heavy areas include Starbucks — available 24 hours with your student ID, C-Club, the Diversity Center and the Fairview Community Room. Choose one of these areas or find a different space that works for you, but try to avoid your room while studying because the temptation to procrastinate with sleep is stronger when your bed is only a couple of feet away.

Study tips

As much as the phrase gets repeated around campus, it is important to have a plan.

Keith Magnus, director of Counseling and Consultation Services, has a few words of advice to help students through the week.  

“Resist the urge to procrastinate, as that only adds to the natural stress that comes with finals,” Magnus said. “Avoid indulging in too many stimulants because caffeine can reduce overall concentration and focus so much so that it will be hard to sit still, and remember to take care of the basics by eating and sleeping reasonably.”

Additionally, pay attention to what works for you. If your body needs a recharge nap in the middle of the day, then refrain from trying to do too much work during that time and take the break that your body needs.

If napping is not the best option for a break for you, then be sure to check out the events around campus that are provided during the finals week. Irwin Library has several events planned for the entire week starting on Saturday including extended hours. SGA’s program board also has a few options.

Be sure to give your brain the break it deserves so that it is as efficient and productive as it should be when the the time comes to take your final.

Healthy stress management

Magnus also emphasized how important healthy sleep can be during this time of year.

“It is okay to lose an hour or two here and there, but consistent no sleep or only three to four hours of sleep will cause the brain to be inefficient,” Magnus said.

Other ways to combat stress includes exercise, even if it is only a walk around campus to get some fresh air. Another option is to attend an event to socialize or watch an episode of your show on Netflix before tackling the books again. Try not to do too much studying at once, and instead split up your studying time with some activity.

Taking the final

When it comes time to take your exam, hopefully you followed the advice mentioned above and slept properly the night before so your brain remembers everything you studied. If you start to get nervous, change the way your approach to minimize test anxiety.

“Rather than getting stressed about the stress and making it worse, use it as a motivation tool,” Magnus said. “Tell yourself, ‘This is a good thing; this is normal. It will help me to do better on the test.’ Change the conversation you’re having with yourself.”

Utilize the time management skills and de-stressing activities you already have, avoid large amounts of caffeine, motivate yourself and remember to get proper sleep. You’ve got this, Dawgs. Good luck!


Related posts